Helpline Volunteer Recruitment Open – NAMI-NYC

Helpline Volunteer Recruitment Open


Applications accepted until January 3, 2023

About our Helpline 

The NAMI-NYC Helpline is a peer-run phone service that is operated by trained volunteers and staff members who are living with a mental health condition and/or identify as a family member of a loved one with living with a mental illness. The Helpline provides callers with emotional support, guidance on navigating NYC’s mental health system, connections to essential mental health referrals, and an introduction to NAMI-NYC’s programs and services. The Helpline is open Monday through Friday from 10AM to 6PM Eastern.  

All volunteers work remotely now, answering calls from their home and attending meetings and trainings virtually. We plan to implement in-person opportunities for those who prefer to work in our midtown office.  

Volunteer Role Description  

What does a Helpline Responder do?  

As a volunteer Helpline Responder you will:  

  • Commit to at least one 4-hour shift per week, for a minimum of one year.
  • The Helpline is open from 10-6 on weekdays. Helpline Responders can select a morning shift from 10-2 or an afternoon shift from 2-6. We will work with you to offer you a shift that best suits your schedule.
  • Participate in our New Volunteer Training once per week for approximately 8  weeks.  
  • Provide emotional support, psychoeducation, and resources/referrals to individuals calling our Helpline.
  • Send follow-up information to callers via email, after each phone interaction.
  • Learn about the mental health system in New York City to deepen your knowledge and ability to help callers.  
  • Document all calls in our data management system. 
  • Attend weekly Helpline support meetings to discuss challenging calls and learn from other Responders. We expect volunteers to attend these meetings as often as possible. 

What makes a good Helpline Responder?  

  • Passion: You are deeply committed to the cause of supporting those with mental illness and/or family members/caregivers of those affected by mental illness. 
  • Empathy: You can actively listen and use care and sensitivity to respond to people in distress 
  • Resilience: You are someone who can keep attention on our callers, but are also able to stay grounded and make sure you are caring for yourself in high-stress situations.  
  • Flexibility: You are receptive to feedback and interested in enaging in ongoing learning to support our callers.  

What are the required qualifications to become a Helpline Responder?  

  • Must identify as someone with lived experience of a mental health condition or as a family member of someone with a mental illness.  
  • Must have strong listening and communication skills. Experience working with individuals living with mental illness is strongly preferred.  
  • Must be proficient with technologies such as Microsoft 365 (including Word and Excel); experience with data entry software preferred but not required. 
  • Must have access and be proficient with use of remote communication tools such as Zoom, VOIP phone platforms, texting, and email.  
  • Priority will be given to multilingual individuals, especially Spanish-speakers. 
  • Must be able to dedicate 4 consecutive hours per week to this opportunity for at least one year. 

How can I apply for this opportunity?  

If you have read the description in its entirely and would like to take the next step, please contact Juen Romanoff at

Thank you for your interest in becoming part of the NAMI-NYC Volunteer community!